Ed. board to take up budget

By Bryan Richardson

The USD 383 Board of Education will begin 2012-13 budget discussions at its meeting at 5:45 p.m. Wednesday at the Robinson Education Center.

Being considered right now in the state legislature is a $74 increase in the base state aid per pupil (BSAPP) for fiscal years 2013 and 2014. A BSAPP of $3,854 next year would produce a nearly $600,000 increase in state funding, budget director Lew Faust said.

Part of that funding could be used to account for the estimated $230,700 in new staffing the school board will consider during the meeting. The administration is projecting an enrollment increase of 140 students, using it to develop the budget and staffing needs.

The administration’s recommendation is to hire three elementary school teachers, one special education early childhood teacher, one special education autism teacher, a nurse at Lee and Woodrow Wilson elementary schools, a principal’s assistant at Lee and Marlatt elementary schools, and a speech therapist.

Faust said there are still uncertainties concerning whether the BSAPP increase will happen. The legislature could use some of the state’s estimated $500 million surplus to put some money back into education including from local legislators.

Faust said the staffing additions will be needed regardless. “If the $74 doesn’t happen, we’d have to look at a different way to fund that,” Faust said.

Also, legislators have indicated that Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposal for a new education finance formula is unlikely to make any progress this session. That would probably be OK with local school officials, who are worried that the plan would cause more reliance on local property taxes.

The school board will also narrow the field down from the nine candidates who applied for the seat vacated by former president Doug Messer last month. Interviews are to take place Wednesday, May 9.

The applicants being considered are:

Na’im Al-Amin, tutor for the Douglas Center Tutoring Program.

John Ball, Ft. Riley Mission Support Element chief.

Mitch Beims, salesman for Tallgrass Commodities and former educator in Kansas and Texas.

Patricia Hudgins, human resource specialist for K-State Student Publications.

James McNair, Sr., financial advisor and retired Army veteran of 26 years.

Keith Miller, research assistant professor of geology at K-State.

Marcia Rozell, tourism sales manager for the Manhattan Convention and Visitors Bureau.

John Sanborn, Kansas Association of Middle School Administrators executive director.

Beth Tatarko, USD 383 school board member from 2005 to 2009.

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